The Obscured Vixen

Book addict, blogger and designer living in a paranormal world.

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Archive for October, 2011

In My Mailbox #9

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 30, 2011


Advanced readers copy of Marzi by Marzena Sowa. Told from a young girl’s perspective, Marzena Sowa’s memoir of a childhood shaped by politics feels remarkably fresh and immediate. Structured as a series of vignettes that build on one another, MARZI is a compelling and powerful coming-of-age story that portrays the harsh realities of life behind the Iron Curtain while maintaining the everyday wonders and curiosity of childhood. With open and engaging art by Sylvain Savoia, MARZI is a moving and resonant story of an ordinary girl in turbulent, changing times.
Thank you, DC Comics.

Autographed copy of The Visions of Ransom Lake by Marcia Lynn McClure. Youthful beauty, naïve innocence, a romantic imagination thirsting for adventure-an apt description of Vaden Valmont, who would soon find the adventure and mystery she had always longed to experience-in the form of a man. A somber recluse, Ransom Lake descended from his solitary concealment in the mountains, wholly disinterested in people and their trivial affairs. And somehow, young Vaden managed to be ever in his way-either by accident or because of her own unique ability to stumble into a quandary.
Huge thanks to Marcia Lynn McClure!

The Explorer’s Code: A Novel Kitty Pilgrim. Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically. John Sinclair—a dashing, wealthy archaeologist and philanthropist—presents Cordelia with the award at the glamorous Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. He also gives her a journal that her greatgreat- grandfather wrote in 1908. An orphan with very few family belongings, Cordelia is amazingly touched to have this precious heirloom. Once the journal is in her possession, Cordelia learns that she is heir to the land on which the Global Seed Vault in Norway sits. The valuable deed for this land, or at least a clue to its whereabouts, may be hidden in the journal.
Thank you, Kara!


This week in review…

Book-vs-Movie: Water for Elephants + Giveaway

NYCC Author Photos & More Fun


Posted in In My Mailbox | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Book-vs-Movie: Water for Elephants + Giveaway

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 27, 2011

This giveaway has ended.

Congrats to winner Lee M!

Water for Elephants
Book by Sara Gruen published in 2007
Movie released in 2011

As far as movie and book comparisons go, this movie stayed very true to the book. It was great to see a movie almost be scene for scene from the book.  And I thoroughly enjoyed both!

The movie starts off the way the book ends: Jacob is an elderly man standing in a circus parking lot looking lost. A ‘darn kid with a ring in his lip’ walks up to him and asks him if he needs help. The owner of the circus then comes over and invites him into his trailer. As the man calls the nursing home Jacob left from, Jacob looks at a picture on the wall and laughs while muttering “Benzini Brothers.”  That is the segue into Jacob telling the circus owner his life story.

There is no bouncing back and forth between the past and present like there is in the book. I actually found this more enjoyable. When I was reading the book, I found myself speeding through the chapters with Jacob as an elderly man just to get back to the story at the circus.

The movie continues with Jacob as a young man saying goodbye to his parents before leaving his house to take his final veterinary exam at Cornell. Just like in the book, his exam is interrupted by the cops telling him his parents have been in an accident.

Jacob looses his parents, his house, and all personal belongings all in one day. He has no where to go, and no one to stay with. He begins to walk to Albany, and boards a train along the way.  Little did he know that it was a circus train that would change his life.

Jacob is shown being drawn to Marlena much earlier in the movie than the book. This makes sense since the movie is shorter than the book. I enjoyed this because it cut out a lot of the unnecessary details of the book. What can I say? I’m not one for details.

A major story line that was also cut down for the movie was August. Gruen does a wonderful job of making you love to hate him.  Since the movie focuses more on the love story between Jacob and Marlena, August is not shown as much. He’s still a big part of the movie because of the integral part he’s plays in them getting together… but I wouldn’t have minded seeing him a bit more on screen. Especially since Christoph Waltz played August beautifully.  He’s mean, psychiotic, and fantastic.

Also, there is no Uncle Al in the movie; August is the one that runs the show.  I’m assuming that this was done because in the book he was a secondary character, and it made more sense for the movie.  However, I didn’t feel that it detracted from the movie at all.

When Jacob meets Rosie for the first time on screen, it’s magical. Seeing Jacob connect with such a beautiful creature on screen is just something that could not be captured in a book. It was truly heartfelt.

Jacob spends more time with and gets closer to Rosie than in the book, which makes the ending more believable to me. While reading the book, I wasn’t quite sure if that was realistic. In the movie, definitely. [No spoilers, I won’t tell you what happens! *insert evil grin here* ]

In the movie, Jacob talks to Camel in Polish, and Rosie responds. Jacob then lists a bunch of phrases for August to read aloud to Rosie in polish. The elephant does handstands, raises on her hind legs, and other tricks as well. I do not remember this happening in the book, but I very well could have missed it.

Jacob and Marlena take off together after August hits Marlena, and they spend the night in the hotel. The difference between the book and the movie is that August’s men find them at the hotel and beat up Jacob. In the book, the main clerk tells August that Marlena isn’t there.

When Jacob finds his way back to the train, he finds that Camel and Walter are missing, and he knows that they’ve been thrown from the train. Jacob climbs the top of the train to get to August’s car, but doesn’t leave the knife on his pillow as a threat like he does in the book.

At the end of the movie before the credits rolled, a montage of old family movies with Jacob, Marlena, and their children were shown. This was wonderfully done, and was a great way to wrap up the movie.

It was amazing seeing Gruen’s story come to life. The train cars, animals, tents… it was phonomenal! The circus acts brought to life were wonderful on screen.  This was something that wasn’t really described in the book, since it was only from Jacob’s perspective. It was great to see, and also makes sense for the movie.  Also seeing the costumes from that time period were gorgeous. The movie was total eye candy!

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson were wonderfully cast for Jacob and Marlena.  Witherspoon was stunning, and did a majority of the circus tricks Marlena did in the book.  Witherspoon really made you feel for Marlena, and her love for Jacob was genuine.

I was actually hesitant to watch the movie because I wasn’t sure if Pattinson could hold up to my perception of Jacob. (Side note: I love that Pattinson played a character named Jacob : )  After watching the movie, Pattinson definitely broke out of his ‘Twilight’ mold.  He was determined and loving just like Jacob was written.

Other scenes that translated well from page to screen were when Jacob meets Walter, Jacob waking up in a trunk dressed like a clown, and Camel bringing Rosie back to the circus with alcohol. They were cute scenes that I enjoyed in the book and were extremely fun on screen.

I enjoyed both the book and movie, and loved how similar they were.  A definite recommend for both!

Have you read the book? Scene the movie?  Maybe both?  Let me know your thoughts!

Giveaway Details

This movie was sent to me by Think Jam for review. They are sponsoring a DVD/book bundle giveaway for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s release of Water for Elephants to Blu-ray and DVD on November 1, 2011.

To enter, please fill out the form below. All entries must comply with the following:
– US and Canada residents only
– No PO Boxes available
– One entry per person

Giveaway ends October 31, 2011 at midnight EST.

Posted in Book-vs-Movie, Giveaway | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Author Photos & More Fun

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 25, 2011

Photos of me having fun at New York Comic Con!  Including me confronting Jeaniene Frost’s editor, having Rachel Caine apologize to me, getting to sit in the actual Back to the Future DeLorean, and so much more!


Posted in Events | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

In My Mailbox #8

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 23, 2011


Book blog BookLove101 key chain.
Thank you, @BookLove101!

Advanced readers copy of Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland. Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…
Huge thanks to Andrew!

MP3 audiobook of Deadly Defiance (A Stan Turner Mystery #10) by William Manchee. Volume 10 of the popular Stan Turner Mystery Series featuring legal sleuths Stan Turner and Paula Waters. This episode introduces a new addition to the attorney’s at Turner & Waters, Stan’s former secretary, Jodie Marshall, who has worked her way through college, finished law school and has now just passed the bar. Knowing how talented she is, Stan throws her into the deep end of the pool on her first case, and she soon finds herself pitted against an angry boss of a Mexican drug cartel!
Thank you, William Manchee!

Advanced readers copy of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4) by Alan Bradley. It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern.
Thank you, Ania!


This week in review…

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Once Upon a Time & Terra Nova Panels

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Movie Props Photos

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Costumes & Decorations Photos

Book Review & Author Interview: Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe, by Anne McAneny

Posted in In My Mailbox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Once Upon a Time & Terra Nova Panels

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 22, 2011

While at New York Comic Con (NYCC), I sat on a number of panels; two of which were for TV.

The first panel of the weekend that I sat on was ‘Once Upon a Time:’
Calling all “Lost” fans – join creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (“Lost” and “Tron: Legacy”) as they introduce you to the magical story of two parallel worlds: one in a distant fairytale land, the other in a present-day reality. Following the exclusive screening of the pilot, Eddy and Adam will participate in a Q&A panel moderated by Matt Mitovich, Editor-at-Large for, about this modern fairytale turned on its head. Arrive early for exclusive magic mirrors!

We were able to watch the pilot a week before it premiers! It was great, and I cannot wait to see the rest of the season. It is extremely well cast, and has a great story line already.  The only thing I would change is Jennifer Goodwin’s short hair.  She looks so much better with the wavy long wig!

The premise of the pilot was Snow White and Prince Charming must protect their newborn baby, Emma, from being taken by the evil queen. To save her, Emma is placed inside an enchanted chest made from a special tree and sent to Earth. Both of the actors were displayed in both the ‘storybook world’ and on Earth (like the sideways world on Lost).

The creators and executive producers of the show released a few Easter Eggs that they hid in the pilot for all those Lost fans. Keep an eye out for this when you watch the pilot:
1) Emma Swan is named after the Swan Station
2) Henry is named after Henry Gale
3) The house address is 108, which was the countdown for the clock in the hatch
4) There is a clock frozen at 8:15, which is the Oceanic flight number

The next morning I sat in on the ‘Terra Nova’ panel:
Join Executive Producer Brannon Braga (Star Trek: Enterprise, 24) and stars Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) and Stephen Lang (Avatar) of FOX’s hit sci-fi adventure series for a sneak peek screening of the upcoming episode “The Runaway” followed by a fan Q&A and moderated discussion with TV Guide Magazine’s Rich Sands. 85 million years in the making, this new event drama from the brilliant minds of Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, The Pacific) and Peter Chernin, follows an ordinary family on an extraordinary journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a part of a massive expedition to save the human race.

We were able to watch the next episode of Terra Nova before it aired with Jason O’Mara, Stephen Lang, and Brannon Braga. They said we laughed in all the appropriate places : )  I must say that both actors look much better in person than on TV!

Upcoming this season, there will be more tension growing between Jim and Taylor. Taylor’s history will remain a mystery for a while longer, but he does have a pure heart. The only thing we don’t know is if he’s being true, or manipulating everyone. Around episode 13, Taylor’s true side will be revealed.

When the actors read the scripts before filming, they are always surprised by how unpredictable the show is becoming. They are excited to go to work every day.

O’Mara was describing what it was like working with CGI dinosaurs, and it was hilarious. He literally ran around the stage with a water bottle in his hand showing what people on set who are pretending to be dinosaurs look like. And then the actors have to pretend to be afraid of that. The entire audience was laughing!

When asked what it’s like being type cast (cop that travels back in time, and military agent on another planet), both actors seemed to enjoy it. O’Mara is a huge sci fi fan, and really enjoys doing shows in a genre that he personally enjoys. Lang doesn’t mind being type cast as a silver haired, charismatic fox. He said he’ll take whatever he can get.

Lang did speak about the difference between shooting Terra Nova and Avatar. He mentioned how on the set of Avatar, they had weeks to shoot certain scenes, and on Terra Nova it’s days.  Lang also mentioned that both characters could have been in the service together due to the time periods.  A very interesting thought!

Posted in Events | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Movie Prop Photos

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 21, 2011

At New York Comic Con, there were tons of amazing movie props.  I am a HUGE movie buff, and was awed by some of the props that they had on display.

Check them out and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Posted in Events | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

New York Comic Con (NYCC) Costumes & Decorations Photos

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 20, 2011

In October 2011, I went to New York Comic Con and had an absolute blast! I took hundreds of pictures, most of which I will be sharing over the next week.

I got to meet some amazing people: other bloggers, authors, editors, and tons more.  I sat on panels, and I’ll be sharing detailed information throughout the next week.

A huge part of NYCC is fans getting dressed up to celebrate their favorite show, book, movie, etc.  Here are some awesome pictures of fans who really took their time to put together awesome costumes.


Every time I looked up, there was another hilarious banner that I just had to take a picture of!


Posted in Events | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Book Review & Author Interview: Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe, by Anne McAneny

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 17, 2011

Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe by Anne McAneny
Genre(s): Romance

A wedding order at The Secret Lives of Cupcakes Shop is always reason for Millie Morris to celebrate – except when the groom is her ex-boyfriend and the bride is the woman he dumped her for. Still, it’s business for her mom’s shop. Millie even makes a good-faith effort to shoo the groom away when he confides his doubts about marriage. But when Millie’s job as a crime reporter finds her covering a big court case, she must choke down her unresolved feelings like a burnt cupcake slathered in bitter frosting – because the bride is the lead lawyer on the case.

Unexpectedly intertwined on multiple levels with both her ex and his fiancée, Millie must choose to either remain in her half-baked state of existence or finally rise above it.

Book Review
This story was not your typical romance. There was humor, more than a love triangle (is love square a phrase?), and a non-traditional ending.

Millie is introduced as a reporter that is still heartbroken over her ex that is getting married to a popular brat. Millie is awesomely sarcastic, and had me laughing out loud. I appreciated how Millie continually made fun of the ‘popular chick’ and were thoughts that we all really think! I appreciate that Anne McAneny put that down on paper. Millie is also representing all of us tall chicks out there!

McAneny writes a wonderfully, fast-paced story with characters that you can’t help but feel connected with (love Josh!). There was no dwelling on details, and once I started this book almost could not put it down!

Without giving away the ending, I will admit that I was not happy with who Millie ended up with. But that made me appreciate this book that much more. The ending was refreshing and unexpected because you do not know who the heroine will end up with.

For all you romance lovers out there, I highly recommend this book!

Interview with Anne McAneny

The Obscured Vixen: In your story, Millie’s mother owns a cupcake shop. What made you choose this as the main locations for your story?
Anne McAneny: I love all things cake and happened upon Stuffed Cupcakes of Nutley, N.J., while on a quick trip to the beloved Garden State (that’s NJ, by the way). They were the first Stuffed Cupcakes of my life, let alone the best cupcakes, period. When considering shops where CANTALOUPE’s characters could hang out and converse, I knew it had to be a place I’d enjoy occupying for many months while working on the book. The stuffed cupcake shop presented itself in a wonderful Eureka moment. Plus, the “secrets” hidden within each cupcake lend themselves well to metaphors.

TOV: Are you more like Millie (reserved but sarcastic), or her best friend Betty (loud and open)?
AM: Depends how many beers I’ve had. No, seriously, I’m the rare shy extrovert. I can be the person shouting out a joke at a meeting that’s gotten too serious, or be a total mute, intimidated by the idea of starting a conversation. But usually, I’m a curious person so I have no qualms asking people what they do or what they think about different things. It’s equally interesting to me if they say, “I’m an astronomer” or, “I mow grass.” I want to know details.

TOV: Throughout the book, you have ‘love ads’ that are published in Close Encounter. Where did this idea come from?
AM: My friend called as I was sifting through ideas for a new book, and I said, “Tell me what to write!” She launched right into, “I’ve always wanted to know what happens after people place those ads, you know, the ones where they see each other but don’t quite connect.” I literally replied, “Oh, like, ‘Our eyes met over cantaloupe?'” And even though I rarely go with my first idea, I couldn’t get the visual of cantaloupe out of my head. So it stayed!

TOV: Do you often have entertaining dialogues in your head like Millie does? Which are hilarious!
AM: Always – and I fear it’s snarkier than other people’s internal dialogues. Would be nice if it came with a shut-off valve but I have to believe everyone else is doing the same thing. (If not, I’m odder than I thought.)

TOV: You’re not odd at all! I do the same. How long have you been writing?
AM: I started writing screenplays twelve years ago and still do, hoping one of them will make it to the big screen. Some have come close. About seven years ago, I moved to children’s books, which my desk drawer enjoys reading, and then to chick-lit and mysteries.

TOV: Do you write any genres besides romance?
AM: I have a humorous chick-lit book out, CHUNNELING THROUGH FORTY, and a fast-paced mystery thriller, FORETELLER, with a sprinkling of romance. I’ll probably write more of both because I enjoy the humor of chick-lit as well as the intricate plotting of high-concept mysteries. I’m tempted to turn a couple of my screenplays into novels because I have the stories completely worked out.

Author Bio

Anne McAneny lives in Virginia with her husband, children, two ferrets and a cat who currently answers to Mythical Flarb or Food. In addition to three e-books, Anne has written several screenplays that float through Hollywood on a regular basis. Her latest chick-lit novel, OUR EYES MET OVER CANTALOUPE, features Stuffed Cupcakes and Belgian beer… she really should have called it “Personal Nirvana.” Her previous chick-lit novel, CHUNNELING THROUGH FORTY, sold well enough to gain the interest of literary agent April Eberhardt, who now represents her. Not limited to one genre, Anne has also written FORETELLER, a mystery-thriller that takes readers on a heart-pounding journey into the past with a doomed archaeologist who must fight to ensure her own future. Anne loves to hear from readers and wishes everyone HAPPY READING!

Facebook Fan Page: Books by Anne McAneny
Kindle Author Page:
Twitter: @AnneMcAneny

Posted in Book Reviews, Interview | 5 Comments »

In My Mailbox #7

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 16, 2011

For Review

Advanced reading copy of Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire #2) by Courtney Allison Moulton. Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined. Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
Huge thanks to @BooksOverBoys and @ACasualReader!


Advanced reading copy of Warrior (Dragons Of Starlight, #2) by Bryan Davis. In the second book in bestselling author Bryan Davis’s Dragons of Starlight series, Jason and Koren travel to the mysterious Northlands to find help in their quest to free the human slaves from their dragon masters. Meanwhile, Jason’s friend Elyssa marches straight into the heart of the dragon kingdom in an attempt to free the slaves with brute force.
Thank you, Z Street Team.

Autographed bookmark of Shelly Crane’s The Significance Series.
Thanks, twimom101 book blog!

Not in the NFL by Terry O’Reilly. Adam Davis isn’t gay! He can’t be — he’s a super star NFL quarterback and gay men don’t survive in the NFL. But along comes Brendan Fletcher, an outstanding, Super Bowl-winning linebacker who awakens something in Adam, something Adam hadn’t known was there. And now it’s wakened, the quarterback will never be the same.
Huge thanks to JMS Books!

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch. In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival.
Thanks to Scholastic.

Winter House (Kathleen Mallory Novels, #8) by Carol O’Connell. When a serial lady-killer is found with shears sticking out of his chest and an ice pick in his hand, Kathy Mallory and her NYPD Special Crimes partner Detective Sgt. Riker are called in to investigate. One of the occupants of Winter House, the scene of the crime, is 70-year-old Nedda Winter, who immediately confesses to the killing, claiming it was self-defence. Murder solved, case closed.
Thank you, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.


This week in review…

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  Things have been crazy, and the last three days I’ve been at New York Comic Con. That means I’ll have plenty of good posts coming up!

Book Review: Vengeance in Death, by JD Robb

Posted in In My Mailbox | 4 Comments »

Book Review: Vengeance in Death, by JD Robb

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 10, 2011

Book Review: Vengeance in Death, by JD Robb
Genre(s): Romance, Suspense

Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the first victim butchered in his own home. The second lost his life in a vacant luxury apartment. The two men had little in common. Both suffered unspeakable torture before their deaths. And both had ties to an ugly secret of ten years past–a secret shared by none other than Eve’s new husband, Roarke.

Each book in this series keeps getting better and better!

We kept getting little insights into Roarke’s past, and it was so great to finally see into his back story. Too bad it was his poor friends getting killed off!

People from Roarke’s past keep getting murdered, and all the evidence points to Summerset. The evidence is so strong that even Eve isn’t sure if Summerset is guilty or not. During the investigation, we find out the details of Summerset’s daughter death. The people that are dying are people that were either involved or knew what happened to them.

Eve and Roarke went to Ireland to bring home a friend that died, and visited some of Roarke’s old friends while there. These scenes were really enjoyable, and it was nice to see Eve and Roarke taking things easy for a bit. I wonder if in the future books we’ll actually get to see Roarke’s father. He was mentioned by numerous people, and Roarke even went to the building where he lives. Big mystery there!

Poor Eve is always getting beat up, or threatened, and this time almost gets blown up in her car. I will admit that I’ll miss that shitty transport of hers. It really had character!

During Eve’s investigation, we find out that Summerset was being set up for all these murders by his artist ‘lady friend!’ This was a woman that he cared for, squeezed her way into his life, to purposely set him up for murder. Poor Summerset!

I love the scene where Roarke and Eve have sex, and she mentions that he’s beautiful and so in love with him. Roarke freezes because Eve never says things like that unprompted. He turns to her and asks, “Did you just call me beautiful?” and begins to tease her. This brought a huge smile to my face. I love how awkward Eve’s character is and how Roarke plays on that. It’s so cute!

I also give JD Robb huge props for keeping her character loyal to themselves. I can’t stand when characters begin to change into different people throughout a series. I understand it, but once I fall in love with a character and I don’t want them changing. JD Robb is so great at developing her characters that they practically walk off the page. I’m thoroughly enjoying this series and I’m glad there’s 35 more to go! Can’t wait to see what happens to Eve and Roarke next  : )

PS – I wish Peabody were real so I could hang out with her. That chick is awesome!

Posted in Book Reviews | 4 Comments »

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